South Africa fired national
football coach Pitso Mosimane on Tuesday in reaction to their
disappointing start to the World Cup qualifiers at the weekend.
Mosimane is the first victim of Africa's qualifying campaign
for the 2014 finals in Brazil after his side were held to a 1-1
draw at home by Ethiopia, 71 places below them in the FIFA
rankings, in their opening Group A qualifier on Sunday.
The announcement by South Africa's football governing body in
a statement on Tuesday came after a meeting with officials that
went on late into Monday night.
Mosimane had stated before the Ethiopia match that it was a
"must win" affair for his team.
The 47-year-old coach had been a beleaguered figure since
his horror error last year when he botched the calculations for
his side to qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations finals.
South Africa were comfortably placed going into their last
group game at home but played for a draw and what they presumed
was top place by virtue of goal difference.
But the rules stated that in the case of a tie in the
standings, the tie breaker would be head to head result and so
South Africa lost out to Niger in an embarrassing mistake.
Mosimane ignored calls to leave then and was given a
surprise stay of execution by the football association but a run
of seven matches without a win brought his tenure to a close on
Mosimane, who had two spells as national coach, departs with
a record of nine wins, 10 draws and four losses in 23 matches.
He will be replaced by assistant Steve Komphela for
Saturday's second qualifier away at neighbours Botswana.
South Africa, celebrating 20 years back in the international
football fold next month, have employed 15 coaches in that time
despite winning one Nations Cup title and participating at three
World Cup finals.
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